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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer



  • ravenmaniacravenmaniac Member Posts: 8
    Color preference is very subjective, but... How'd it look? Did you like it relative to other color combos you've seen on the new Solara?
  • ravenmaniacravenmaniac Member Posts: 8
    I hope it's legit. I'd be very wary of a dealer that offered to fly you in AND give you a great deal. As you said, these cars are hard to come by. Why would they pay to fly you in when they probably get 3 conv.'s a month and there are millions of potential buyers in the Baltimore-Washington metro area?
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    I agree, 600 miles to save a few bucks? The info about the delivery charge is a line. Every retail delivery is assessed the factory destination fee, and this is the only part of the invoice that has NO margin in it.
    In Wixom Michigan, there is a large Lincoln Mercury dealer across the highway from the factory that builds the TC and LS..and yes, even those cars have the full destination fee, even though they were transported from...across the street.
  • ravenmaniacravenmaniac Member Posts: 8
    That's criminal!

    What's the logic? Ensure a uniform freight charge nationwide?

    Why not charge whatever it costs to actually ship it? I suppose a $1,200 freight charge to the coasts would scare off too many customers?
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    No that is not criminal. It's simple supply economics.

    It is extremely inefficient to charge freight on mass produced items on a per item cost analysis basis.

    Think of it as a HUGE letter. If you send a letter to one of your neighbors and send a letter to someone on the other side of the country (or Hawaii, for example) it costs the same .37 Now, it costs the post office considerably more (relatively) to get the letter to Hawaii. However, the money saved in getting letters to close areas makes up for it.

    It's really just taking the average cost of shipping and making it a set fee. Quite common, actually.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    thank you for saving me from having to respond...holy toledo..
  • mfullmermfullmer Member Posts: 773
    Toledo? That's an extra $20.00 destination charge.
  • arlyarly Member Posts: 1
    I have just read all the messages & questions on the Solara convertible. I think I may have had one of the first 2004's on the road in Central NJ. I still have not seen another one on the any of the major highways here. I originally read about it on line. I kept visiting Toyota showrooms to see one. Finally there it was. I fell "in love" with the design of the car, and I agreed to lease the next one that was scheduled to arrive without regard to color or options. I needed a lower price than the fully loaded one in the showroom. It arrived a week later and I had it on the road April 15, without even test driving it! The ratings everywhere were high.

    My car is medium/light blue with a tan top and light tan interior - no wood. I love the silver accents; the dashboard is attractive; seats are comfortable & legroom is ample. I agree on comments about the "top" controls at night; even during the day you have to be careful if you are raising or lowering all windows at once that you do not press the "top" control button since they are next to each other. The ride is very smooth, except for a "shake" when riding over really bumpy roads. I receive compliments constantly and if you don't like the attention be prepared. I would rate this car high in overall satisfaction.
    Rear visibility while backing up with the top up can be a problem, but there is a solution. I rely on both my side & rear view mirrors and back up slowly while constantly looking out to side mirrors to double check. I parallel park twice a day with no difficulty. With top down it is real easy! I have put close to 2000 miles already, but the weather has been beautiful and there is nothing like the feeling of driving this convertible!
  • janbaldyjanbaldy Member Posts: 6
    This black one is the first solara I have ever seen in person. I want a convertible & have been looking at the Saab, BMW and Mercedes & only recently included the Solara on my 'wish list'. While I love black cars (there is nothing more rich looking - the first 5 minutes after they have been washed), I didn't particularly like the combinations on this one. As I mentioned, the top is tan and that looked ok. However, the interior is the ivory leather(different from the tan top) and the dashboard is gray and it also had a satin colored metal on the console & the fake reddish wood. Too many colors that didn't seem coordinated. The sticker is $30,799. The salesman said he could get any available color I wanted. Whatever it was, I'd have to see it before I ordered it. I was impressed by the shape of the back end of the car which looks similar to the cute little Lexus convertible (that I can't afford). I don't know what color I want, but the Solara is definitely near the top of my list. I'm sure Reno Toyota can give you additional information. I just looked & the website is www.renotoyota.com.
  • currybobcurrybob Member Posts: 3
    We just picked up ours yesterday. SLE V6, White with the tan interior and tan top. I'm real partial to white with the tan interior.

    LOVE this car. Very tight and smooth ride. This is our first convertible and will mainly be my wife's car.

    I got $1100 of MSRP. This was only the second one this dealership has received and was the first white one. Everyone keeps coming up to us and ask to see the car. My wife eats this up. We had an 04 Lexus RX330 that we had for a year and sold it to get this. That is what she wanted and you have to keep them happy you know. I'm looking forward to the day she lets me drive it to work. I do wish it had some body side molding though, people don't care if they bag your car with their crapy of a car.

    I'm in the SE and could not deal with dark interior with the hot summers we have here.
  • jonijjonij Member Posts: 1
    I have been in the market for a convertible for a month now since my son passed his drivers test. This discussion has enlightened me. I had no idea how hard this car is to come by. However, after reading, I don't think I want to settle for the Chrysler Sebring. Does anyone know if I can fit a folded wheelchair in the trunk?
  • indykenindyken Member Posts: 6
    Hi. Don't settle for the Sebring if at all possible to get the Solara!

    I just ordered one that should be built on June 7 and delivered by June 14. Originally I was told mid-August, but I think the dealer was just able to switch the color of one they already had coming in.

    I'm a nurse. My guess would be that you probably CAN get a standard sized wheelchair in the trunk with a little maneuvering, but if it is an issue, you should definitely try to fit one in at the dealer sometime before you buy/order it. Even if all the ones coming in are already sold to people, the dealer should let you try. It is doubtful that you could damage someone's car testing a wheelchair fit. If they give you any trouble, mention the Americans with Disabilities Act!

    If you live anywhere near Indy, you can try to put one in my trunk and see if it will fit.
  • midlife crisismidlife crisis Member Posts: 1
    Great lookin car.........Couple questions for those in the know as I complete my shopping decison?? 1. Several dealers have indicated that the Ocean Pearl Blue with tan top was indeed now available on the Solara convertible....others have claimed it was not....anyone know for sure? 2. Anyone found how to get SE ground effects (even aftermarket) for the SLE model? 3. Anyone tested TRD's sport kit springs on a 2004 Solara of any style.....results? 4. It appears Solara has a fairly unusual tire size for both 17 inch standard wheels, and TRD's 18 inch upgrade.....In each case tire rack presents only high performance, low mileage summer tires as an option............My experience with German cars for 17 and 18 wheels has offered up a wide diversity of tire options including high performance all season options with superior mileage characteristics......would a 40 profile vs a 45 profile as indicated function properly on this car?? Your feedback greatly appreciated!
  • pam5pam5 Member Posts: 3
    Our stories sound familiar....I owned the previous style convertable and absolutly loved it..but then heard that they were making the new style. I checked on line but had been waiting to see on in person.
    I checked on line in all the nearby states and every time I called the car was sold. I finally found one in nearby Mass that was in the showroom, I was there in an hour and purchaced it without even driving it. I fell in love with the style and it was fully loaded with every option. I paid 33T. But did not care, there were people lining up to look at it and purcahace it if I did not. I drove it home the same day, the day before Easter and have not seen another yet. aparently it was going to be kept by a dealer who works there, but then they realized they could get well above the MSRP and decided to sell it. These cars are limited production and if I wanted one to order it, I would be looking at Aug. In RI summer is nearly over by then. People ask me all the time about it (strangers), many complemets.
    Many think it looks alot like the Lexus SC430 which is about double the price and can not fit 4 adults comfortably. (It does have the v-8 though) BUT I wanted luxury with sportiness, convertable that could fit a car seat and that was front wheel drive for NE weather. I got it all with the Solara. I have owned the Saab and I test drove the Volvo. I would not get in a Sebring. Just my opinion. : ) Happy with my car
  • pam5pam5 Member Posts: 3
    Hey Ken in Indy!!
    I am afraid I paid ABOVE sticker but things are crazy over here on the East coast..I am afraid we really didn't have much of a selection of decent front wheel convertables until now with the Solara. I need front wheel because of the horrible weather we get. (snow included)All the front wheel cars handle it very well. I have driven rear wheel in the winter and avoided some serious accidents by sheer luck.
    I used to own a truck for winter and car for summer, but can't afford the taxes, insurance and all that any more while one sat all season in the gargage. So I have the best of both worlds with my summer convertable and winter driving , safe, Solara in the winter. My solara came with every single option available. I LOVE the NAV. Never thought I'd want or need one but have used it in a bind when I got lost and love the option to where you can hit "resturant" and it list every single one from the nearest point. There are places to eat nearby that I never even knew of!! : ) The Nav is great for emergency, just hit the button. Good to have when you have a 5 year old in the back seat. Another good feature is the road map CD--just pop it in from AAA. And you are on your way, no hassles, all voice instructed Hassle free vacations! and located pit stops for the little one. : )
  • pam5pam5 Member Posts: 3
    There is only a single Cd behind the screen of the NAV, but it loads up to SIX CD's.....that is the newest technology. No more going into the trunk to load em......Read your paperwork people : )
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    enlighten me, how do you load six cd's into the nav system..i looked and came to the conclusion (after another poster pointed it out) that it was a single disc system??!!- Due to the fact that there is no "load" button..
  • pammypammy Member Posts: 5
    I see, I do have a load button....behind the Nav system. I have to hold it and wait for the beep to incert more then one
  • pammypammy Member Posts: 5
    OOOOOOO!!!MY BAD! I have had this car almost 2 months and never tried to incert more than a single CD. I DID read the manual and that is what I was going by, but I JUST tried it myself and you are 100% correct....it only holds one because when you upgrade to the Nav that is what you get. I guess I can hook up a holder that is JBL compatable. sorry Tyre
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Haa! I thought the same as you..ours is actually my wifes car and she did the same...in reality, you can only listen to one at a time anyhow...!
    I see that you are in RI, we are in So.CT. I wish this stinkin' weather would break so we could enjoy the car topless..!
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,905
    finally had a chance to sit in and test drive one today. I stopped at the dealer hoping to sit in one waiting for delivery, but they had an available unit, so I got to drive.

    basically, drives just like the coupe, which is to say smooth. Decent steering feel and handling, but certainly more toward the luxury side of the spectrum, not the sports side.

    Plenty of room in the back seat, and even a decent sized trunk.

    The rear visibility did stink, due to the wide sail panals, small (and high) window, and especially the gigantic headrests. Would prefer separate pop up rollbars, but I guess they had to cut costs someplace. Of course, visibility improved markedly with the top down.

    Did notice that the windows and windshield header sit rather high, so you are down in the car, as opposed to sticking up into the airstream, which seemed to make for a reasonably sheltered ride with the top down.

    One quibble was the seat belts. The goofy strap to hold them against the seat was lame, and they kept pulling off my shoulder (I sit "tall"). I think the seat mounted belts are a lot more convenient on a 2 door, but not really a huge issue.

    Overall, a definite bargain in the 4 seat convert class. Only the Sebring can match the usable space for anywhere near the price, which is a good 15K less than Audi, BMW, etc, which really can't serve as 4 passenger cars.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • indykenindyken Member Posts: 6
    Hi. Just wondering if anyone has yet found an aftermarket HID headlight system for the solara? I was told by one aftermarket company that the system is H11, the same as the Lexus, but that there is not yet a system ready to convert. Any information?
  • pammypammy Member Posts: 5
    Don't even test drive the VolvoC70 then!! It's back window is smaller and it has even more serious blind spots. But, I have to disagree with you on the pop up roll bars. I have precious cargo in the back (my son) and I refuse to rely on something that SHOULD pop up in the event of a roll over. Granted Volvos are the safest cars, I like knowing the the roll bars are intergrated into the head rest and is always there. Esp. knowing a few incidents where air bags were supposed to but did not employ. : )
  • bobbygbobbyg Member Posts: 1
    I bought 2004 Solara convertible about two weeks ago. Paint problems and car pulls to the left. No quick fix common problem for 2004 whether coupe or convertible. Please contact me if any one has the same problem and it was resolved. Buyers beware of the steering problem. I got the Toyota feeling and its not a good one!
  • pammypammy Member Posts: 5
    Sounds awfully strange for a brand new car, How many miles were on it when you bought it? It could have been a DEMO model and was in an accident. Unless it happened in shipment and was repaired. I'd love to know what dealership you purchased it and in what state. Pammy
  • pammypammy Member Posts: 5
    Hey Jan, I am new to this site. I wanted to reply about the color options on the new car. I have the Lunar mist metallic which is so pretty (silver) and the interior is A matching gray. As is the dash a darker gray. So the car is all uniform other then the black roof which when it is down with the matching gray boot, you've got one incredibly sharp looking car.(I see the Lexus with this color combo all the time) I have had the top down with the sun beating on it and sat right in no problem. I do know from the past production cars, the silver was opal stream, (I owned one) and it was a hard to come by color and did more money for the color resale when I purchaced it used at the dealership. (and when I sold it back to a dealership) I also think the White with saddle interior and saddle roof is beautiful. And of course the black on black with the dark gray interior, unfortunetly a very hot car in the warm weather. I hope I have helped
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    What color is your car? Can you define "paint problems?" Does the car pull to the left when accelerating or is it a constant pull? What has the dealer told you?
    If you scan these boards, the "pull" is a problem that keeps surfacing, a bit strange it shows up in random vehicles and not all.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,905
    some cars are just more sensitive to alignment problems. It could also be related to tires. I had major problems with pulling on a Nissan Quest w/goodyear OEM tires. Numerous balances, etc. and the conclusion was "belt slippage" (or something like that). Never really got the problem eliminated until I got new tires, and poof, no more problems.

    For the Solara, I thought there was a TSB for tweaking the front suspension, but maybe that was a different car.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • owlowl Member Posts: 5
    My wife and I took delivery of our Absolutely Red convertible in April - we are delighted with it. We can drive on the highway with the top down, windows down, music playing and still talk in a normal voice, and this is in northern BC in Canada.
  • joel1joel1 Member Posts: 1
    Does the passenger seat recline fully? My wife likes to recline the seat so that she can sleep on longer trips, and we have found that the passenger seats on some other convertibles (e.g. BMW 325) don't recline all the way. I've not been able to find a dealer who has a new Solare convertible on hand to check it out, so I'm hoping that someone who has one can tell me if it does.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,905
    try a coupe. The seat should be the same.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    But it's really dangerous to have the passenger seat fully reclined while driving. If you were to get in an accident she could be seriously injured or worse because the seat belt would not hold her in in that position.
  • gtdennisgtdennis Member Posts: 1
    Curious about when the 2005 convertible will be available and what different options will be offered.

    I would like to get a manual transmission and while I like a few of the colors I am interested in what the 2005s colors will be.

    Anyone have any insight.

    Thanks in advance.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,905
    It's certainly possible they will add more color choices for 2005 (the current ones are very limited), but don't expect to see a stick anytime soon.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • currybobcurrybob Member Posts: 3

    You are right about the front seat belt holders!! Not a good design but not a huge issue. I also wish they had made the passenger front seat to go back to the original settings after you let someone out of the back seat.

    Love the car, great ride and great looks

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    agree, now that the "honeymoon" is over with about 2500 miles on the clock, there are a few things i would like to see added/changed..and i am being extremely critical...the biggest thing i have come across is most peoples reaction to the fact that it is "only" a Toyota. They ask with great enthusiasm..."whatkindacaristhat"?? When the response is.."it is a new toyota" they usually say "o".
    Bottom line: even at bust out sticker the car is still a tremendous value...
  • owlowl Member Posts: 5
    Like dav47 I noticed wind noise, mine on the passenger side. The dealer found that a cable had come loose but could not adjust it properly. The solution - a whole new top! It will take 10 to 15 days for delivery, it's a slight inconvenience but Toyota does it right.
  • solara4solara4 Member Posts: 12
    If they say 91 octane "recommended", do dark, terrible things happen if you use regular?
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    read that more carefully..it says something like 87 pump..91 ron spec.
    The engine is designed to run on 87 octane pump gas...the cheap stuff. If you want to spend more on higher octane fuel, knock yourself out.
  • rudy331rudy331 Member Posts: 27
    I too have just discovered a slight problem with the top on the passenger side. Not sure if it is the same as you and dav47, but definitely wind noise similar to what you have if a window is slightly cracked. Also, small section that you can actually lift up and put your hand between canvas top and inside liner. Took it in yesterday for service--they were baffled!! Service manager said he hadn't seen anything like it. Driver's side is tight and soundproof. I showed him the messages from this forum and he said he would check into it. Recommended me not leaving it since it was scheduled for Friday service and knew he couldn't get it back--said he assumed since it is brand new and coming up on a weekend that I would want my car. He was right!!! If it weren't raining I could still use it right now. Have rescheduled appt. for a week from now due to my scheduling conflicts. Will let you guys know what they say. By the way, I've had since 4/27 and lovin life. Cosmic blue with cream interior SLE. Had no intention of getting a new car since I had a 2003 Acura MDX but hubby convinced me we didn't need 2 SUV's and needed a fun car for the visits to our place in Myrtle Beach.
  • owlowl Member Posts: 5
    That sound exactly like the problem that I have, I assume Toyota will replace it as they are mine. Good luck.
  • carolvcarolv Member Posts: 1
    Good gas mileage is very important to me. I am currently driving a 1999 Mercedes E300 diesel and get 35mpg on the highway and 30 in town. I've been looking for new luxury car that gets good mileage... but it doesn't look like there is one. I fell absolutely in love with the new Solara covertible...
    What about mileage? What do you get?
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    ours is averaging around 25 mpg with 87 octane- that average is based on about 1/2 city, 1/2 highway..i have seen as high as 28 on a highway run or two.
    That MB oilburner is a tough car to beat mileage wise..there is a new one that just hit the market, unfortunately it is not avialable in California.
  • ravenmaniacravenmaniac Member Posts: 8
    I've only gotten 21-22 miles per gallon on my 1st 2 tanks of gas. And that's mostly highway driving.

    I've had the top down @ 40% of the time, so maybe that's putting a dent in the 29 mpg the sticker projected.

    Other than than and poor rear visibility, it's a great car. Smooth and quiet ride, with more power than I expected.
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    Anyone bought an SE below MSRP recently in NorthEast? How much did you pay?
  • solara4solara4 Member Posts: 12
    We just bought an SLE convertible near Philadelphia and paid MSRP. I didn't see any SE convertibles. Below MSRP did not seem to be an option at the only dealership near us that had the car. We did not push it too much as we were in a bit of a panic to get the car 'cause we liked it so much. If you are in a position and mindset to walk, you may save some money. Good luck.
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    Thanks Solara 4 for the information. I have been quoted the MSRP by multiple dealers in the Metro Washington Area with a few goodies (6 months of free Gas, Oil change etc), which has a combine d value of about $500-700 at the most. I think since the particular vehicle I want has to be ordered, it is an extra sale by them, and hence an extra profit. May be they do not get as many as they want.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Saw an SLE with nav and stability...$7500 markup on the rig..The crazy part is the fact that they are moving these rigs at big $$. I have seen at least 5 of them pass through their inventory. go figure.
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    Where do you live tyresmoker? It is hard to believe any sane man (women would not, they are more rational) would pay $7500 over MSRP for this car. That makes the price in the range for a BMW 3 or Audi 4 convertibles. I am not going into the argument that it is a better car than those or not, but would you pay the same price for it?
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,905
    You have to be comfortable with your mirrors, and pay better attention. Like you said, you wil lget used to it, but the visibility is particularly bad in this convertible (the BMW is much better). The last generation SAABs were also terrible (Volvo also), but I'm not sure if the current SAABs are any better.

    Just drive with the top down at all times. Great visibility that way!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

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